Let PBS Help Your Kids Learn All Summer

Summer is finally here and I’m sure your kids are very excited! After countless hours spent studying math, science, and reading during the past nine months, that final school bell signifies freedom to them. The sun is out, the pool is open, and it’s time to stop learning, right? Wrong! Summer doesn’t necessarily mean the learning ends; it simply means that parents may have to find creative ways to keep their kids’ minds turned “on” while still allowing them their much-needed vacation from school. Thankfully, our good friends at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) are already on the task, providing multiple television shows that will engage your children in fun while educating them, too. The programs that PBS Kids provides, both on television and their kid-friendly website, will provide both entertainment and a quality education for your children on these days off.

Some of our favorite PBS Kids programming:

Sid the Science Kid- This show is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary school children who have a natural curiosity and interest in science and discovery. The show follows a funny preschooler named Sid as he searches for answers to questions such as, “Where did the water go?”

Super Why!- Does your child need a little extra help developing their literacy skills? Or maybe your child simply loves books! The PBS show Super Why! follows four young storybook characters as they use their special literacy powers to solve a problem in a different story.

Dinosaur Train- This is the perfect educational programming for children who love dinosaurs, trains, or both! In Dinosaur Train, we meet a family of dinosaurs who have adopted a dinosaur of a different species as one of their own. Together, the family travels on the Dinosaur Train to visit and learn about other species of dinosaurs.

A note to parents: Be proactive about educating your children, even when school is out of session! PBS provides an excellent online resource for parents where you can find information about their programming, lessons and projects related to the shows themselves, and general ideas for continuing your child’s education year-round.

See Super Why Live!

Super Why! is finally joining the ranks of other popular children’s programs to bring us a live production as Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power! visits cities coast to coast this summer! This stage production is sure to please both child and parent. It is being produced by the same folks who brought us Yo Gabba Gabba Live! and will feature all our favorite characters. You can expect live music, as well as stage effects and stunts.


Super Why, Alpha Pig, Wonder Red, Princess Presto (together with Woofster) will be on stage. The scenarios will be similar to those we’ve come to expect from this preschool favorite. The characters, strengthened by their literary superpowers, will imagine themselves into brand new, interactive adventures. Your kids will have so much fun reading, singing, and dancing along, they’ll never know how much they’re learning!

There might not be a better chance to introduce your young child to the joys of live performance. Why not make this their first live show? VIP tickets and “Meet & Greet” packages are also available, so why stop at the live show? Your child could actually meet their favorite character! For more complete event information and to purchase tickets, visit www.superwhylive.com to give your preschooler the gift of an experience they’ll never forget.

(And don’t forget to wear your Super Why ! shirt to the show!)

Your One Stop Shop for Party Supplies

Does your child have a birthday coming up? Are you helping someone plan a birthday party for his or her child? It can be frustrating to find everything that you need in one location.  Let Ty’s Toy Box be your one stop destination for all your party supply needs!  If you order from Ty’s Toy Box, you won’t even have to leave the house.

Ty’s Toy Box was created to meet the demand for finding rare toys and party supplies. We have a vast selection of Yo Gabba Gabba party supplies, Caillou, and Super Why, to name a few. We have Yo Gabba Gabba wall decorations, piñatas, and even the glasses that DJ Lance himself wears (Don’t be surprised if your kids act just like DJ Lance with them on!).

For Caillou party supplies, we actually have a Dinosaur Edible Icing Cake Topper! We also have a lovely Caillou Centerpiece. Party favors include sticker sheets that come with 6 scenes from Caillou.  Who doesn’t like stickers? It’s a fun favor that’s sure not to disappoint!

You can make each child feel super awesome when they receive their Super Why Birthday Invitation.  We also have birthday yard signs that will announce your child’s party, which can be personalized.  Last but not least, help your little man make his Superhero entrance with our Super Why! Birthday Boy to the Rescue! Red Super Tee!  This comes with a removable cape, to make him feel extra special and let everyone know it’s his big day.

Who are you gonna make feel special today?

The New Super Why Alpha Boost

2012 is the year for iPhone and iPod touch apps.  These apps are becoming increasingly popular, as the devices fit easily into children’s hands, and can keep them entertained at crucial moments.  Not only are they convenient, but they actually have some educational value, which I will discuss below.

PBS Kids has released a new app called Super Why Alpha Boost, which helps children enhance their literary skills.  This is the third app that has been released in the Super Why series. The first was Super Why Paint, followed by Super Why.  Super Why is the number two best selling app in the kids games and educational category.  This new app focuses on phonetics (how to pronounce words) and teaching children how to recognize letters and words.

According to Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President of Children’s Media, research involving the original Super Why app showed that it helped children to complete sentences and learn how to rhyme.  In the Alpha Boost app, children can choose their character: Princess Pesto, Alpha Pig, Wonder Red, or Super Why.  The app comes with over 100 party themed words.  Children can look for “super letters” in the sky to help them along their journey, and the letters help to complete the party themed words.  The user progresses further as more letters are collected. The fun part involves tilting the phone to the left or right to catch the flying letters!

I definitely recommend this app for your children.  It spur their interest in letters and words in a fun and engaging way.  The app itself is a mere $2.99 from the iTunes store. Of course we always have a great selection of Super Why toys too, so be sure to check them out!

The Wiseness of Super Why!

Perhaps, like me, you’re wondering why Super Why has made a splash in the cartoon industry.  And why not? With all of the cartoons out there, how is this one different from any of the others?  Well, it may interest you to know that Super Why was created by the creators of Blues Clues, in order to improve critical reading skills in children from ages 3-6.  Approximately 20%-30% of children have difficulty reading. With attention spans decreasing more and more each day, it is critical to improve these skills by any means possible.  Super Why presents these reading concepts in a fun and exciting way.

For even more fun and interaction with Super Why, visit the PBS website.  In one of the games, you can even make a cake and pick different toppings to put on the cake. Whatever topping you pick to put on the cake, you have to spell. It’s pretty neat stuff, and I’m sure that your child will get a kick out of it, even if it’s just to work on his or her spelling, in a fun and interactive way.

If your little one is craving a little piece of Super Why to take home, consider buying him or her a gift that you an actually personalize on this website. For Christmas we have Super Why! Super Readers Christmas Stocking and the Super Why! Farewell to Santa Ornament.  Of course we also have the classic Super Why! Action Figure as well as Super Why! Style and Pose Wonder Red Doll, the superstar version of Red Riding Hood.